Tottenham’s last 10 signings from the Football League – & how they fared

Quick Reads

Tottenham have enjoyed plenty of success in signing some of the best talents from the Football League, although not every buy from outside the top flight has worked out how they’d hoped.

We’ve taken a look back at Spurs’ last 10 signings from Football League clubs.

Note: we’ve excluded players signed from clubs just relegated from the Premier League – such as Moussa Sissoko – and have only included young players signed initially for the academy if they had already made senior debuts at their previous clubs.

Grzegorz Rasiak

Absolutely no idea what was happening here.

Chris Gunter

Gunter has had a fine career, becoming Wales’ most-capped player in history, but the full-back’s club career has largely been spent in the Championship.

Joining Tottenham from Cardiff City for £2million in January 2008, Gunter was still just 18 and considered a hot prospect.

He made just 16 appearances in all competitions for the north Londoners but still looks back on his stay in a positive light, reflecting in 2012: “I had a brilliant time at Tottenham, it is a great club and I learned so much there so I was really thankful.”

Gareth Bale

Never heard of him.

Danny Rose

Unlike fellow Leeds United academy products Michael Woods and Tom Taiwo, Rose rejected a move to Chelsea a year prior to joining Tottenham in 2007.

Unlike Woods and Taiwo, Rose went on to fulfil his potential in London, making over 200 appearances for Tottenham and becoming an England regular, even if things have gone a bit sour in recent years.

READ: What happened to the two starlets Chelsea poached from Leeds in 2006

John Bostock

Having made his senior Crystal Palace debut aged just 15, Bostock was tipped to one day captain England. His career has been far more nomadic than expected; at the age of 28 his current club Nottingham Forest are the 13th team he has appeared for, taking in spells in Canada, Belgium, France and Turkey along the way.

The midfielder was on Spurs’ books for five years but made just four first-team appearances, none of which came in the Premier League, and was loaned out five times.

In 2019, Bostock told L’Equipe he should never have left Palace for Spurs at such a young age, saying: “My agent, my family, people put a lot of pressure on me to leave. It was not my choice. There were different reasons I left, including the pressure of money. But I think I should have stayed there because I had chances to play. If I could go back, I would stay.

“Now that I’m older, I appreciate those hard times because they helped me become stronger. But, initially, they [unsuccessful loan spells] almost broke me.

“There was even one time I was close to stopping. When you love something so hard and it does not work, there is nothing worse. It’s not that I did not like this sport anymore, but I had lost confidence.”

Kyle Naughton

Signed from Sheffield United alongside Kyle Walker in a combined deal worth £9million in 2009, Naughton played 74 times for Tottenham across six years but never felt like a regular fixture of the starting XI.

The full-back joined Swansea for £5million in 2015 and has already made almost double the number of appearances for the Swans as he did for Spurs, albeit having dropped back into the Championship.

Kyle Walker

Better than Kyle Naughton.

Dele Alli

It’s fair to say this was an absolute steal.

READ: The scout who told Spurs to sign Bale on why Liverpool missed out on Alli

Kion Etete

Spurs fans can be forgiven for knowing little about Etete given he is yet to make his senior debut for the club after signing from Notts County last summer.

The 18-year-old was signed following a successful trial, having made four appearances in League Two in 2018-19.

Niggling injuries have curtailed his progress in north London to date, although his 6ft 4ins frame means he could offer Jose Mourinho the option he lacks as a target man.

Jack Clarke

The second player signed from Leeds United – Aaron Lennon just missed out on the list after joining slightly earlier than Rasiak – Clarke remains something of an enigma.

After bursting onto the scene as an impact sub at Elland Road last season, Clarke’s form suffered after his collapse on the bench at Middlesbrough but Spurs were still happy to pay £10million for the winger.

He then rejoined Leeds on loan, only to struggle to make their matchday squad for Championship fixtures to the number of loanees on the books in West Yorkshire.

The arrangement was cut short in January to enable Clarke to join QPR on loan, but the 19-year-old is likewise yet to make a Championship start after failing to dislodge Eberechi Eze or Bright Osayi-Samuel in the starting XI.

Our resident Leeds fan suggests Clarke could still turn out to be absolutely anything in football, ie don’t be surprised if he’s playing for either England or in League One in three years’ time.

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